tv [untitled] October 11, 2011 7:30am-8:00am PDT
15th. when the garage entrance is on 15th, there's a different thing at play, where we can wrap the commercial around the corner. i think in terms of a kind of urban suggestion, in some ways may be preferable. in terms of the way this relates in the neighborhood, you get the existing residential scale with awful the garage entries and then our garage entry and entry to our residential building. and then the rest of the site is wrapped by exergs space. so that's just the two sort of design elements of these two different conditions. this is an overview of the sort of elements of the site. and the kind of situation of 15th, which isn't a heavily-trafficed street, and quite sensley the schools have
used capp street for their entry. president olague: since we're going to be asking you this question anyway, if you could just finish. >> ok. so the one point i wanted to make is that in terms of m.t.a., they are planning on having further traffic-calming speed bumps in front of our building on 15th, which i think will help a lot with the traffic on 15th. and i just wanted to show some statistics. these are the trips that currently occur between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. on 15th street. our building adds another 15 trips between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. in the morning traffic hours it's considered to be 82% of this addition. so the total change is fairly modest by our building, which doesn't mean that there isn't a problem on 15th street. all it means is that our building is not going to change that problem very significantly. so, again, these are the two sort of options for the traffic
study. and the last thing, the historic commission approval, which basically stated that the building had no significant effect on the potential historic structures that are adjacent. thank you. president olague: thank you. we have no speaker cards. i'd like to open it up for public comment at this time. is there any public comment on this item? >> good afternoon, commissioners. president olague: if you can speak into the mic, ma'am, we -- >> i've got to turn it back on. president olague: oh, ok. >> i am here on behalf of marshall elementary school. i'm also a parent. i have a second-grader there and i'm a member of the p.t.a. executive board. just yesterday we had mayor ed
lee and supervisor james kim join marshall school in a citywide walk to school event. the school was presented with a certificate, a walk to school proclamation from the mayor. marshall has one of the highest percentage of kids that walk to the school. that brings me to the school's main concern. basically that there has been very little communication between the developer and the planning commission with the community, as well as the school. that's about a half a block away from the project. with the help of supervisor james kim's aid, we were able to set up a meeting. within the last week we met twice. as frustrating as this was, we were able to address our concerns, the most important being the safety of our children and marshall school. and also its surrounding neighbors. marshall are the first to
implement this sfmta traffic-calming project, which is to reduce auto traffic and make it safer to walk for pedestrians. the school has also implemented the safe routes to school plan and has been working with all of san francisco government departments. with all that said, marshall elementary school's main request is that the garage be relocated to south van ness avenue as not to add more traffic to the school. and keeping the garage off of 15th street -- keeping it on 15th street, i'm sorry, would be counteractive to the home zone project and the safe routes to school plans. finally, in our last meeting just yesterday, we found out that the developer is in agreement with us to a have the garage relocated to south van ness. so as a voice of marshall elementary school and as a resident of the neighborhood myself, we ask that you
consider this request to improve the safety for our children and for our neighborhood, because the whole plan is to make this neighborhood more walker friendly, so any traffic that you add on to the neighborhood is going to just make it worse and not better. and considering that it used to be a gas station and it was always an exit to south van ness, and they're claiming that there's only going to be 15 cars, i don't think it's going to make such a drastic difference to south van ness, but it will make a difference in safety to the school. thank you. president olague: thank you. is there any additional public comment on this item? seeing known -- none -- >> good afternoon, commissioners. mark solomon again. the neighbors want changes to this project to integrate something that really doesn't
fit, to make it fit better. i don't think we want the project to begin with, but the zoning is the zoning and that's what it is. planning staff did not involve our neighborhood in the process. planning staff didn't -- we didn't have representation of the board because the supervisor was not at the table for this and we were uncalled by the planning department staff to be advised of this at any point over the past nine months. we're planning on the citizen planning commission to consider our interests here and represent them. the rear yard exception hasn't been mentioned. the plan calls for and the code requires a rear yard. hopefully at ground level. in the staff report you'll notice that building at the corner of 15th and mission on the southeast side was cited as justification for the heights. that building has a year yard. but in this one they're building to the full lot line. our interior courtyard is a beautiful interior courtyard with plenty of gardens and it's a neighborhood where you can see your neighbors doing their little things in the background. when you see them on the street that creates an added benefit
of safety. the marshall school principal that our neighborhood already takes its fair share of hits and we need everything we can from the commission and the city to help us mitigate some of the dangers on our streets. a rear yard is part of that. that's where kids get to play. that's how we integrate this kind of a project into a 106-year-old into a 106-year-old never heard. i think we need to deny that exception and make them become part of our community. we are talking about opposing the project, put their backyard in my back yard and i will be happy with this. park recourse have been discussed. we realize the plan has -- does not call for new curb cuts. the curb cuts are already there. it would be directing cars into a place where cars are already present. and we are encouraging non- driving by design. if you put the parking on south
van ness, that discourages falls from driving -- discourages folks from driving. it is a policy and not a law. we should change the law so it will not be a future in the problem and we can learn. setbacks -- the code calls for celebrating the corner, not both sides. i would urge for you to call for setbacks on south van ness as well. this is not an umu project. we need to look at them and see how we step down from residential to industrial. this is not how we do it. this is mcd. 29 was put into place because we did not get everything done during the planning process. we need to tie up the loose ends and not here. -- and knots here.
president olague: thank you. >> sorry for the late arrival at the podium. from my perspective, looking at the dialogue here today. it seems to me that the project sponsor is giving me -- >> could you say your name for the record? >> i am sorry. garrett fricks. i think there is a sensitivity to the ingress and egress to the school commission. it is concerning to me with larger issues get introduced and we start to leverage one individual site for some concerns about how a planning process wind or did not go over the past couple of years. i am hoping that the commission would recognize that and support the project this afternoon. thank you. president olague: is there additional public comment on this item?
seeing none, public, is closed. commissioner antonini. commissioner antonini: the project came before us quite a few months ago. i saw one of the things we were going to do was some design work. they did do something as far as matching light wells and a couple of other elements that were addressed. basically, i feel it is not very contextual with the neighborhood. it might be a little late in the game to change that now. it certainly would be good. let me give you a few examples. you have a vertical element that are emphasized and that makes the building look taller than it really is. it is already taller than the holmes who either side, which are all victorians and have been there 100 years. certainly, if there is a way that those elements could be horizontal elements rather than vertical, it might help to mitigate, to some degree, the imposing nature of the building, at least from my point of view.
secondly, doing something with the top of the building, whether it be a cornice or whatever to make that terminate, we are not trying to copy something from 100 years ago, but by putting an element at the top of the building that spells the end of the building in a vertical manner, it helps it to fit in a little bit with the buildings that it surrounds. and then the windows again. it would be nice if there was a little less glazing. i do not know how much of this can be done. i would hope staff could work with the crowd just wanted to make some design changes that tried to make less imposing. i know that examples were shown of architecture in the area, but if you look at the rendering on
15th street and south van ness, most of the buildings you see there are more contextual. there are exceptions. unfortunately, over the years, in the 1950's, we allowed buildings to be built which were unfortunate. we would rather not use those as examples for what we do here. the big issue is the one about the entrance, whether it be on south van ness or on 15th. i do not have strong feelings either way. the neighborhood seems to feel it's safer for the school to have it on south van ness. i think that my experience in coming by these buildings, even much larger ones after hours, i do not see many cars going in and out at any given time. not everyone leave their homes at any given time. i think the entrance back into the place would probably after school hours or over, probably. if you do not necessarily know. i would be receptive to moving
it to south van ness if that is the will of the other commissioners. that would be fine with me. remember that with the situation on south van ness, you are probably not want to see left turns into the garage. i think everyone will have to be coming north on south van ness off to get into the garage and then go north when they come out. i am not sure about that but i believe it is no left turn or maybe it should be to get into the garage. in those are the main things. there are a lot of good things about this. it has been mentioned that you have affordable things on site. you have two-bedrooms. it will provide realistic opportunities for people for home ownership. by design, it will be a more reasonable price given the location and it will live in the corner of it. right now, it is dilapidated. maybe, there will be a way the
staff can work with the architect to see if we can come up with some things that are going to make this a little less imposing -- i do not know that we have to change the height. the rear yard is you, it seems like they have addressed that. we will see what other commissioners have to say. vice president miguel: a question for the developer. if you could come up. i was unable to determine two things. in one, the amount of bicycle parking you are providing. >> we have 20 bicycle parking's. vice president miguel: 2440 units. i would suggest that you greatly increase that.
>> we have 36 residential parking spaces to. and three commercial. we were considering using that commercial as electric car only. vice president miguel: ok. the infrastructure would be in there so you can pop up. thank you. aside from that, i am actually satisfied with the architecture. as far as the garage entrance is concerned, that is a little more difficult. when i take a look at what has to be done with the commercial space, i think the commercial space is more viable, in my mind, on south van ness than it is on 15th. and i drive by that area constantly.
so, in that case, i would prefer it with the protections, speed bumps and the rest of it, a 15- mile per hour zone on 15th street. i think it makes a much more viable commercial space having it on south van ness. if it is all on 15th street, a good worker. but to me, it is not as liable at all. i will wait for the other commissioners. commissioner moore: what we denied a number of years ago is obviously being best realize with the type of building which we have. in direct response to commissioner miguel's comments on the curb cuts on south van ness, i believe that since we have a curb cut there, i do not
have any problems at all to have the building be accessed on south van ness, particularly in light of the fact that there is so much strong and reasonable pushback providing the school hours. i think that is something we need to support. i think we need to stick and stand with that as an attempt for children not being dropped off by cars as it used to be traditionally that way. the second point is, i believe that the former presidential large building design, this building does some ingenious things. i am very happy about them. cutting the courtyards and matching them the way it does is not only interesting, but it creates exceptionally good units and allows us to savor the open space and exposure for dwelling units.
where i had a little bit of a hard time was that the building and its overall appearance is somewhat jarring. i have to be honest with you, the package of was submitted to the commissioners falls far short of some of the drawings you showed and some of the arguments you made in explanation to your building. there is no background on explaining the thinking in the package and some of your mapping ideas that you brought forward, including how you used the courtyards to modulate the building, it is not even explained. it really looks more like a retro office building in the materials i have received. but it is unfair and i think a very very bad way of bringing a very difficult project forward. i do not want to point any fingers, because i do not know.
but the package i have in front of me does not do any justice to objectively discussing the quality of the architecture. from a residential expression point of view, the building is a little bit tight for me. it lacks the exuberance of the residential and expression which i think would very well complement at least the 15th street side of the building. south van ness is a difficult street to find in terms of an urban environment, and so in response to commissioner miguel, i do not mind that the commercial starts to wrap around the corner onto 15th, because a safe walk to school, depending on what type of region we attract, is very much in support of walking, making the decision if you want to buy a snack in the store if there is a food- serving establishment. i am not quite sure how to
critique the architectural- residential expression other than what i am saying. i would like to see a little bit more exuberance but i need to say that unfortunately, in your package, the way received at -- the way received it, was not the same as you describe it. president olague: i support the entrance on van ness street if it makes a lot of sense to. there is not as much traffic on south van ness. the buses moved over to mission street so there is not as much of those concerns and it would not make a lot of sense to move the entrance. in terms of the building, it gives me great pause. i live survive blocks from the site so i am aware of how this building looks very different to the context of the neighborhood. i agree that i think it looks a
little too much like an office building and not too much like a residential building. it does not relate to the street in a way that we would prefer. overall, all of the other ideas with the open space, the affordability on site, they are a lot of the right things in this project. i think the project, when it is faced, is a great project. in a major issue is with the design. if you ever got from a few other commissioners. it is not that it is not an interesting design. i think in another location it might work very well. i think in this location, who have a harder time understanding how it relates. i am not saying i cannot support the project, i would like to figure out a way we can make the project fit a little more compatible it with the neighborhood, still respecting your architectural expertise and point of view, but at the same time, better creating cohesion in the neighborhood with other structures around.
>> i want to agree with the comments of commissioner antonini and commissioner borden, where she basically agree with what the other commissioners were saying. of course, commissioner antonini phrased it very differently but he and commissioner moore were getting at the same thing. i think this is a beautiful building, but i do not think it fits in well with the context of that neighborhood. i do not feel that. if it were in the full sum -- folsom or somewhere south of market, it would work very well, but there is a severity 2 it -- to it, where mission tends to be
warmer in its expression, for lack of a different way of saying it. i am not sure what i would -- i am almost done. i just do not find it contest will at all. -- contextual at all. we welcome you to go up and make the comments. the neighbors mentioned they have concerns. they are trying to create a more walkable area and sfmta is creating a home zone. i wonder a little bit what that means in relationship to parking requirements and that sort of thing. i am wondering if that is something that has been included in this vision at all.
the home zone, do they have any construction and is the parking -- i know there is existing zoning, but what i they looking at? >> we have a representative from the mta here to talk to you about it if you like to hear it. president olague: yes. i would like to hear it in terms of traffic coming --affic --- traffic-calming. i support what the parents are supporting. >> i am an assistant engineer with the mta. you cannot really see, but i am managing the implementation of the home zone in. we are looking at implementing some measures to halt traffic
-- to calm traffic between 14th and 15th and south van ness. these bulb outs have already been constructed. we are continuing construction to reduce cut through traffic from the freeway and calm traffic that needs to use the street so everyone is going a safe speed so children and other members of the community can feel safe walking and biking a round. basically a courtesy here, but the types of improvements we are using our speed humps, raised cross walks and striking that will narrow the street and reduce 15th street, a small part of it, to one lane instead of two. those changes are all meant to calm traffic and does not violate any land use policies. president olague: 94 that.
>> that memo is in your attachments, so you all have that. president olague: would-be architect like to comment? >> another rendering makes the building looks quite strident. it is actually punched windows. it actually would not look as strident as the rendering it may appear. what are the characteristics of architecture is a verdict alidade. we try to abstract it because we are not living in the victorian era anymore, thank goodness. [laughter]
we are trying to extract the architecture. i think the punched windows are there. it is just that this material was rendered too similar. you understand how difficult it is to actually represent things that tend to be -- they get confused. these are the materials and glass. president olague: why don't you hand them around? i was going to ask for bay windows and. [laughter] >> i just want to add to that, if i might. this project has gone very well. we have worked well with the neighbors, the pta, and so on. i have noted the commissioner's
comments on the design. i am sure that the sponsor would be amenable to working with the department as a condition of approval of the project so that the department can implement the comments you have made today and make sure that the corporateness of the project -- speaking on behalf of the sponsor, we would be happy to have that kind of condition. thank you. president olague: someone mention there was going to be a partlet on 15th street? >> that is incorporated in the project. >> that would have to go through a zoning approval process. we typically do not have and that close to the corner, so we would have to work out how that would work for. commissioner antonini: just a couple of other things on design.
the materials seem fine. i am not sure about the contrast. it is very severe between the light and dark materials. perhaps something that was a little bit softer might work, although you are picking that up off the building to the east on 15th, which has sort of a dark siding and white windows. it is done differently on your building where the white is the vertical lines as opposed to being around the windows and accentuating the windows. so i am thinking that that could be done. perhaps it might look a little better if it did. the other thing i was suggesting is that you have a base that is really nice. you have the retail space, a 15-foot retail space. that is really rich and makes it nice. your body is fine. it comes up. your capital area, there is no change there.